Pitkin County putting a halt to open space climbing bolts
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Pitkin County officials are asking the local climbing community to quit bolting routes on county-owned open space until they have time to come up with a management plan for the areas.
The moratorium, adopted by the county Open Space and Trails Board, comes on the heels of reports that at least one route has been bolted at The Drool, a popular ice-climbing route near Redstone.
“Apparently, there have been various instances of bolting,” said John Armstrong, open space and trails ranger.
At The Drool, climbers have bolted into the sandstone to aid in the ice climbs, he said. The county acquired the property containing The Drool a few years ago, and acquired a parcel that contains another ice climb – Redstone Pillar – just last year.
The Open Space and Trails program also anticipates eventually managing Gold Butte off the Rio Grande Trail near Aspen, which will become county open space as part of a development approval last year. So will a popular ice climb along the trail. That transaction, however, has not yet taken place, Armstrong said.
The county will post signs explaining the moratorium on putting bolts into the rock at the two climbing areas now in its possession, along with a phone number for the open space program’s office. The county is happy to hear from climbers, as it will be seeking their input when it formulates a management plan for the areas, Armstrong said.
“Bolting may or may not be appropriate, but we need time to study it,” he said.
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